Former president Banda’s trial begins, Lawyers ask court to dismiss charges against him

Former president Banda

Former president Banda

The Defense Team representing former President Rupiah Banda in a case in which he is facing Abuse of Authority of Office charges has asked the Lusaka Magistrate Court to free their client on grounds that the law on which he was arrested and charged does not specify clearly what criminal offence he his facing.

During the commencement of trial this morning before Chief Resident Magistrate Joshua Banda, Mr. Banda’s lawyers argued that section 31 as read with section 41 of the ACC ACT No. 3 of 2012 which Mr. Banda was charged for Abuse of Authority of Office is substantially different from Section 89 (1) of penal Code.

The Defense team led by Professor Patrick Mvunga further argued that the ACC ACT No. 3 of 2012 does not operate retrospectively and that the matter is constitutional and that it should be referred to the High Court for determination.

Meanwhile the Prosecution team led by the Director of Public Prosecution Mutembo Nchito contended that the matter in which the former President is charged with Abuse of Authority of Office should not be determined by the High Court as similar case of Godfrey Miyanda and the People failed to be determined High Court in a similar manner.

The Prosecution has further asked for a day more in which to submit more of their arguments in reply to submissions made by the Defense.

The case has since been adjourned to Friday 5th April for continuation of trial.

Mr. Banda’s bond has since been extended.

QFM